Our Members

Current Members

Karl-WillertKarl Willert


Karl received his PhD from the University of California in San Francisco, did his post-doctoral research at Stanford, and joined UCSD as Assistant Professor in 2008.

Stephanie Grainger

Post-Doctoral Fellow

Stephanie joined the lab in 2013, after completing her PhD at the University of Ottawa in Canada. Her thesis work focused on the role of the Cdx transcription factor family in mouse intestinal development, under supervision of Dr. David Lohnes. Stephanie is interested in the developmental processes that govern hematopoietic development in the zebrafish embryo. Stephanie has been awarded postdoctoral fellowships from the American Heart Association and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and is currently a Scholar of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Myan Do

PhD Student

Myan graduated from UC Berkeley in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in Molecular and Cell Biology. She joined UCSD’s Biomedical Sciences PhD program in 2015 and joined the Willert lab in June 2016. She is investigating how FZD7 and WNT signaling contribute to cancer, as well as to the maintenance of human embryonic stem cells. Myan is currently funded by the Cancer Biology, Informatics and Omics (CBIO) Training Grant.

Brianna Lonquich

Lab Manager

Brianna is a graduate from University of California San Diego where she majored in Biochemistry and Cell Biology. She joined the Willert lab in 2014 as a research intern. Currently, she is improving Cas9/CRISPR methods in zebrafish. Brianna joined the Willert lab full time as a technician and lab manager in 2016.

Nikki Nguyen

Research Technician

Nikki joined the Willert lab in the Fall of 2014 as a research intern. She completed her Masters degree in 2017 through the UCSD B.S./M.S. program. Currently she is characterizing the interaction between Wnt and its Fzd receptors.

Diana Gumber

Research Technician

Diana graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in Animal Science and Biology. She completed a MS in Regenerative Medicine from Cal Poly SLO as a CIRM intern in the lab in June 2017. After graduating with her MS degree, Diana joined the lab as a Research Technician. She is currently studying the potential of targeting the Frizzled 7 receptor in the WNT signaling pathway as an anti-cancer treatment.

Jon Okubo

Research Technician

Jon graduated from California State University, San Marcos with a B.S. in Biological Sciences with an emphasis in Molecular Biology and a minor in Chemistry. Jon has experience in cellular reprogramming as well as the characterization of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). He also has experience in the differentiation of iPSCs into motor neurons and cardiomyocytes. Jon became a member of the Willert lab in August 2016, and will be responsible for combining high throughput screening and hematopoietic stem cell differentiation with the long term goal to make advancements in individualized medical treatments regarding hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for disorders such as leukemia, anemia, and autoimmunity.

Jordan Setayesh

Undergraduate Student

Jordan is a second-year undergraduate student at the University of California, San Diego and is studying Physiology and Neuroscience. He joined the lab in January 2016 and plans to continue learning lab techniques and building his knowledge base in order to contribute to the lab. After graduating, he plans to apply for medical school and pursue a M.D./PhD.

Past Members:

(in alphabetical order)

Holly Aur

Grober Baltazar

Matthieu Bauer

David Brafman

Julia Busch

Emily Carnahan

Olivia Gaylord

Sarah George

Brett Henninger

Jiahao Huang

Ian Huggins

Christina Jessen

Natalie Kardos

Tamás Kovács

Nathan Kumar

Albert Lowe

Daniel McCoy

Riley Mills

Ellen Mintz

Damian Ng

Krystal Oon

Luca Perna

Christine Phung

Amelia Prada

Angeline Puranen

Jenna Richter

Jason Ross

Charlotte Rossdam

Kevan Shah

Nikita Shah

Tyler Sloan

Stephanie Soltero

Alexandra Stanley

Aubrey Stiers

Tanisha Takhar

Alyssa Vukcevich

Sara Wirth